Manus – a tourist destination or a crime against humanity?
‘Having regard to the many difficulties and unknown factors….....’ The Bougainville memorandum that might have been written

And now the sports report – the last bastion of fair play gone


1982 Games
Stamp from 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games - 36 years later, has sport lost its way?

TUMBY BAY - I’ve been especially careful this week to avoid television sets, but it’s been harder than I thought.

Everywhere I go they are there; be it the local supermarket, airport or doctor’s surgery.

And they’re all showing the same program, the Commonwealth Games: an endless, mind-numbing cavalcade of running, jumping, swimming, pedalling and throwing of objects.

I’ve got nothing against sport; if it turns you on that’s well and good.

It’s a great equaliser and a great substitute for more violent tendencies, like warfare.

Indeed, if our great religions made sport a mandatory part of their faith the world might be a much more peaceful place.

Well, in theory at least.

While sport is supposed to be about fair play and teamwork it is also used as a training ground for a certain sort of militancy. It is said it teaches boys to be men. What does that mean if not to be aggressive? Most football codes extol aggression in players.

Looking at ball sports, I never cease to be amazed at the infinite variety of on field targets that have been invented for the purpose.

Teams compete to put a ball through all sorts of arrangements of posts, bars, nets, sticks and little hoops on poles. The sexual message is overwhelming. Men being men and maybe some women being men too.

Ocker Australia loves sport. In what other country would you get two solid weeks of headlines about a couple of dopey cricketers sandpapering a ball?

I’m still not sure the public was mesmerised because the players were cheating or because they were cheating and got caught.

Sport is full of cheats. Life is full of cheats. Sporty types take drugs to cheat. Who knows what else they do to cheat?

Winning has become paramount. To simply compete is not enough. People who lose are seen as failures.

The unstated truth is that, if you have to cheat to win…. so be it.

And just when we thought we’d seen it all, along comes Papua New Guinea to add an entirely new element to the mix – bribery.

I guess you can’t expect anything less from a country that is a world champion at corruption.

Where else would you see a government sports minister openly and brazenly offer athletes K100,000 to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games? Just like he did at the Pacific Games and the Commonwealth Games before that.

With prizes like that on offer, what sort of athlete is not going to think about cheating, whether swallowing a performance enhancing drug or anything else to gain an edge?

What sort of message does it send to the children of Papua New Guinea? Win at all costs and reap the rewards?

For those purists in Papua New Guinea who truly love their sport, I want to say this: your government, after corrupting everything else, has now corrupted the one thing that should not be corrupted.

They have destroyed the ethic of fair play and teamwork.

That is definitely not what sport is about.

Why are you sitting by meekly and letting it happen?


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William Dunlop

Well Bernard. Im still laughing, good old banana land, all the way from the Emerald isle.
The Prince comes to mind, Machiavellian that is.

Bernard Corden

Clive Palmer has more ethics than Peter Beattie. Take a look at this report from Graham Readfearn covering the corrupt birth of coal seam gas in Queensland.

Many of these chthonic characters were provided with impeccable credentials from The Butcher's Apprentice to the Bligh government:

Irrespective of your persuasion the Moonlight state is reminiscent of Tammany Hall polttics which dominated the New York political arena for almost 80 years and it is very much like trawling through an website.

William Dunlop

Well Bernard. Run by the discredited Beattie.

Lindsay F Bond

Along with Phil, we await seeing evidence of a cash payment to each medal-winning PNG competitor after the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games of 2018. Else, on the topic of playing fare, will it be in kind?

Of more hope going forward, David Grevemberg offers opinion on promoting equity: "From the equal medal opportunities for men and women for the first time at any international major multi-sport event (133 medal opportunities each); ... to the largest-ever fully-integrated para-sport program."


Good heavens. Equity? Only at the starting line?

And for folk like Phil: If ball sports aren't it, try vaulting tumbling balancing...Haus sports.

Max Phin

'Teams compete to put a ball through all sorts of arrangements of posts, bars, nets, sticks and little hoops on poles. The sexual message is overwhelming. Men being men and maybe some women being men too' he,he,he..the best paragraph of this write-up by far. Fair analysis though.

Bernard Corden

Did the Gold Coast get the Commonwealth Games or the Commonwealth Games get the Gold Coast?

Corruption always involves the corruptor and the corrupted.

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